Suggested Hitchcock reading material?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Nelson Au, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I am looking for suggestions for a good book on Hitchcock, his films, his view on filmmaking, his ideas about each of his films, etc.

    I believe Bogdonavich had published a book on Hitchcock, I haven't read it or know if it's the right one to look for.

    Thanks!

    Nelson
     
  2. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    How about the book Francois Truffaut wrote on Hitchcock? I've heard that's a good one.

    Click Here
     
  3. MartinTeller

    MartinTeller Screenwriter

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    The Truffaut one is supposed to be excellent, but I haven't read it yet.

    I am currently reading The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock by Donald Spoto. It's quite riveting! It's more of a biography than a critical analysis, but it provides a lot of interesting background material that you probably wouldn't find elsewhere.
     
  4. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    A particularly good one is Writing with Hitchcock by Steven DeRosa. It's all about his collaboration with writer John Michael Hayes on Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, The Trouble With Harry and The Man Who Knew Too Much.

    Also very good is a book focusing entirely on Vertigo by Dan Auiler.
     
  5. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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  6. Tom Fynan

    Tom Fynan Stunt Coordinator

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    Truffaut's book is a transcript of his interview with Hitchcock. It's very good, particularly since it gives Hitchcock's own insights into his movies. A lot of the stories and quotes that appear in other books come from this source.

    Donald Spoto's The Films of Alfred Hitchcock gives movie by movie analyses of all the movies, as well as basic plot summaries, casts, and details of filming. It is my "bible" when loooking up a Hitchcock film. The caveat is that it was written before the era of video rentals, and it is clear that Spoto had not seen, or had not recently seen some of the films he discuses. Plot details are often wrong in his summaries. His biography of Hitchcock is well written, but I think many scholars look down on it for it's pop-psychology approach.

    If you want a real academic analysis of Hitchcock, Robin Woods' "Hitchcock's Films Revisited" will give you your fill of scholarly jargon, but also some real insights. He almost made me think UNDER CAPRICORN is a good movie, after I read his chapter on it! At least he made me appreciate it.

    Tom Fynan
     
  7. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks for all the replies. Looks like I'll have to pick up more then one or two books here!

    Nelson
     
  8. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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  9. MartinTeller

    MartinTeller Screenwriter

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    If half of what Spoto says is true, then Hitchcock was not a very likable person. I find it fascinating, and it doesn't diminish his accomplishments. Kubrick was kind of a dick, too, but he was still a genius.
     
  10. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    What does he think Psycho is about then? [​IMG]
     
  11. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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  12. rich_d

    rich_d Cinematographer

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    I'm currently reading the new Hitchcock book:

    Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light by Patrick McGilligan

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books

    The advantage of this book is that it comes after so many others and therefore builds on those earlier works. McGilligan wrote excellent books on George Cukor and Jack Nicholson and others that follow Hitch's work have been looking forward to this one.

    I enjoy his writing style.

    I can also echo positive comments for:

    Hitchcock Films Revisited - By Robin Woods

    The two Spoto books are worth reading but I wouldn't start there. Spoto is picked on as too concentrated on the negative (i.e. unbalanced). Really hard for the reader to know but even critics agree that his books are well researched.

    If interested in more in-depth material on a single film:

    Vertigo - The Making of a Hitchcock Classic - By Dan Auiler
    Hitchcock's Rear Window - The Well-made Film - By John Fawell (not to be confused with Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window - a book I have not read).
     
  13. Mark Palermo

    Mark Palermo Second Unit

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    HITCHCOCK ON HITCHCOCK - A pretty thick volume of interviews.

    Also CENTENARY ESSAYS (ed. Richard Allen and S. Ishii Gonzales) is really good if you like academic criticism.
     
  14. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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  15. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I'm resurrecting this thread because I started rewatching all of Alfred Hitchcock's movies (I cheated and started with the 1934 The Man Who Knew Too Much) recently and was curious if there had been a 'definitive' Hitchcock biography written. I read The Dark Side Of Genius and the Hitchcock/Truffaut books when I was a teen but I may pull out my very dog eared & worn copy of Dark Side and re-read that.
     

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